We heat our house with wood, so I have to spend a lot of time with the chainsaw. Our outdoor water stove has a big door, so it’s not necessary for me to split the wood, although I’ve split plenty in my life.
Land and Table’s gathering in the Bedford area is at Mountain Run Farm. The farm is owned by Ben and Carly Coleman, who we had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times. Ben recently put up an interesting offer on their farm’s facebook page.
Pointing out how many American men these days have abdomens bigger than their chests, and how that virtually guarantees them an early grave, Ben challenged the men in his community to start heating their homes with wood (as his family does) and to stay fit by splitting wood.
Here’s what he wrote:
“Our proposal is that ANY man who wants to change their habits and heat their home and family with Nature’s bounty of deadfall wood is welcome to come to MRF and collect your wood for FREE. Start now and collect for next winter, We can help you with wood stove advice and options to heat with. Englander wood stoves are made in Amherst VA and Stihl chainsaws are made 90% in VA. Better yet, get a cross cut hand saw. Nothing is more invigorating than splitting wood. It is what men were meant to do! Please come see us for more details.”
I admire him for putting out this offer. Sadly, I don’t expect he’ll have many takers.
I’m not sure we can afford to offer free firewood to anyone who wants it, but it has given me something to think about. But if there was some way I could limit the offer to those whose inactivity is killing them, I’d do it.
It saddens me, and sometimes makes me angry, when I look around at the folks I see in public places. So many of them have ruined their health and are destined to become wards of the state (then die a premature death). And in almost all cases it’s completely preventable by consuming only a reasonable amount of food and by getting a reasonable amount of exercise. The human body wasn’t designed to take in mountains of food (particularly processed food) while remaining inactive. That is a recipe for a health disaster.
May we figure this out before it’s too late. For many, splitting some wood would be a good way to start turning things around.